The Discourse of Socialist Realism: Bulgarian and Georgian Textual Experience

  • Project Status
  • Execution period
    2009 — 2021ongoing
  • Project lead Assoc. Prof. Yordan Lyutskanov, PhD
  • Financing

Research Team: Assoc. Prof. Plamen Antov (Institute for Literature), Irma Ratiani (Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature, Tbilisi), Irine Modebadze (Shota Rustaveli Institute), Gaga Lomidze (Shota Rustaveli Institute), Marie Vrinat-Nikolov (INALCO)


Within the project, Bulgarian and Georgian texts from the epoch of socialist realism had to be juxtaposed, within broadest framework, both medial (literature, humanities, pictorial arts, landscape architecture) and ideological (canonicity vs. counter-canonicity vs. ‘in-parallel-with-canonicity’).

The selection and arrangement of particular subjects of interest had to be disciplined through the hypotheses that the main commonality between the two cultures in that period was their self-colonisation vis-à-vis / their colonisation by the Russian-Soviet ‘metropolis’; and that parallel existence and resistance were two structurally equal possibilities. Whenever possible, the hypotheses had to be trialed against a more specific object: the so-called cultural-historical, incl. literary, heritage. I.e., to identify and analyse the workings of the process of (self)colonisation, of its counter- and parallel currents, through how texts and artefacts had been recognised (or not) as ‘heritage’.

After 2012 the subject under focus was further concretised: the literary canons. As part of the work within the project, new literary canons selecting works of a particular genre had to be drafted (anticipated) against the context of earlier ones that had addressed the same genre. After 2014, collective efforts were invested in preparing (selection, translations, commentaries) a parallel anthology of Georgian and Bulgarian 20th century short stories, in three languages.

The main extra-scholarly aim of the project has been to generate and sustain mutual Bulgarian-Georgian scholarly interest, incl. engagement of Bulgarian scholars with Georgian matters and vice versa.



  • Ратиани, „В кривото огледало на тоталитаризма: човекът и времето в романа на Михаил Джавахишвили ‘Ратаите на Джако’“, превод от грузински през руски Модебадзе и Люцканов // Литературна мисъл, 2010, 1, 119-135;
  • Люцканов, „Тоталитаризм и литература в Болгарии: состояние исследований и перспективы“ // Totalitarianism and Literary Discourse (20th century experience): Proceedings, ed. by I. Ratiani, Tbilisi: Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature, 2010, 101-110;
  • Lyutskanov, “Totalitarianism and Literature in Bulgaria: Current State of Investigation and Perspectives” // Totalitarianism and Literary Discourse: 20th-century Experience, ed. by Irma Ratiani, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012, 126-152 [updated version of the previous publication];
  • Люцканов, „У кого, чему и зачем учиться? Болгарская литература ХІХ века и иностранные литературы“ // IV International Symposium Contemporary Issues of Literary Criticism: The Epoch of Classical Realism: 19-th Century Cultural and Literary Tendencies: Dedicated to Akaki Tsereteli's 170th Anniversary (Proceedings), ed. in chief Irma Ratiani, Tbilisi: Institute of Literature Press, 2011, 268-286. ISBN 978-0041-0-2791-8;
  • Люцканов, „О переводах грузинской литературы на болгарский и на русский: вводные замечания болгарского русиста“ // Sjani 14 (2013), 206-241;
  • Люцканов, “Сдваивание” “малых” литератур, как средство их ознакомления друг с другом. // Literaturuli Dziebani (Tbilisi), 34 (2013), 194-204. (ISSN 0235-3776);
  • Ljuckanov, "Towards Paired Histories of Small Literatures, To Make Them Communicate" // Studi Slavistici 11 (2014), 285-300 [expanded and updated version of the previous publication];
  • Lyutskanov, “Interliterary socialisation and marginal literatures (Redefining ‘world literature’) [Sayat-Nova and the Georgian literary canon]” // ACLA Annual Meeting (Seminar B 90: Worldling minor/small literatures), Utrecht, 6-9 July 2017 (non-published conference paper).